SPRINGFIELD – As 2023 comes to a close, the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police and nearly 200 law enforcement agencies across the state are reminding the public they'll be working overtime now through the beginning of the new year in an effort to keep roads safe for everyone.

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“Getting behind the wheel after drinking or using impairing drugs is a criminal act that jeopardizes your safety and the safety of others,” said IDOT’s Director of Highways Project Implementation Steve Travia. “Other dangerous behaviors like not wearing a seat belt, distracted driving and speeding are also strongly addressed by our laws. These laws exist for one reason – to keep the millions of people who use our public roads safe.”

This final statewide enforcement push of 2023 has one goal – to save lives. During these last days of the year, additional law enforcement will be patrolling for impaired driving, seat belt, speeding, distracted driving and other traffic laws. Through Dec. 14 of this year, 1,213 people have lost their lives in fatal crashes, which is 11 more than during the same period in 2022.

“During this time of year when more people are out celebrating, ISP has additional troopers on the road working to stop drunk and dangerous drivers before they cause a crash,” said ISP Division of Patrol Col. Chris Owen. “As you celebrate the holidays and get ready to ring in the new year, remember to make a plan to get home safely. Designate a driver, ask a friend or family member to pick you up, or plan a ride-share if you'll be drinking while celebrating.”

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Please get in the practice of designating a sober driver and not letting friends and family members drive impaired. Other important tips:

• Plan ahead. If you know you’ll be attending a party or going out and you plan to drink or use cannabis or any impairing drugs or substances this New Year’s Eve, plan for a sober driver to take you home.

• Look to public transportation, your community’s sober ride program, cabs or your favorite ride-sharing app.

• If you see a friend or family member who is about to drive impaired, take the keys away and plan to get them home safely.

The heightened law enforcement is made possible through federal funds administered by IDOT and coincides with the comprehensive multimedia campaign “It’s Not a Game.”

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